If you stayed up late to watch this game, you were treated to a reason to go to bed early.
Whatever it is about STAPLES Center, the Blue Jackets just can't seem to shake it.
Their long run of futility in this relatively mundane building continued tonight, dropping the second game of a three-game road trip, 4-1, to fall to 7-6-0 on the season with the finale coming tomorrow in Anaheim. The Blue Jackets haven't won a game in Los Angeles against the Kings since Nov. 5, 2015, when Gregory Campbell scored the game-winning goal.
Folks, this was a bad game.
The Kings have struggled throughout the early part of this season, and entered this game with only three wins. The Blue Jackets didn't look dangerous at all, and they did themselves no favors with perhaps the most forgettable power play performance in recent memory – we've said this before, most likely, but how about two shorthanded goals yielded on the same power play?
Alex Iafallo banked in a centering pass on the first period delayed penalty to open the scoring. In the second period, Jeff Carter's lightning-quick release beat Sergei Bobrovsky for a power play goal and a 2-0 lead that carried into the third period.
Zach Werenski got the Blue Jackets within a goal only 29 seconds into the third period – which seemed encouraging – put the Blue Jackets then proceeded to implode. Not so encouraging.
First: they gave up a shorthanded goal to Anze Kopitar only 14 seconds into what was a key power play chance. Kopitar had two (two!) grade-A chances on Bobrovsky and buried the second. To make matter worse, Dustin Brown got a shorthanded penalty shot minutes later and beat Bobrovsky five-hole, making it 4-1 Kings.
The third period quickly deteriorated from the prospect of an exciting rally to a horrendous meltdown. The Blue Jackets now must pick themselves up and get ready for a Ducks team that is trying to keep pace in the Pacific Division – but really, it's only about themselves. Right now, the Blue Jackets have plenty to worry about.
The Blue Jackets got some welcomed good news tonight, with Brandon Dubinsky returning the lineup for his first game since the Oct. 5 home opener. Dubinsky had missed nearly a month with a strained oblique suffered in practice on Oct. 7.
It's a quick turn-around for the Blue Jackets, who close out this three-game California road trip tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET puck drop).
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